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ecclector
Posted (edited)

Hello fossil friends :)

 

I will be acquiring a clutch described as Elongatoolithidae that came from a collection out of China in the 80s. Short of sending the piece out or acquiring a $1000+ air scribe setup, what can be done as far as getting rid of some of the calcite on top of the eggshell, or better expose the underlying details? I possess a dremel with many different attachments and access to the hardware store for more supplies. I've read that the matrix these are found in can be very hydrophilic so want to avoid turning it to mush. Thanks for any comments

s-l1600.thumb.jpg.da87edeb2172f1bf7924cbe3e56b2d6b.jpg

Edited by ecclector
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I would avoid using a dremel on this with any sort of attachment.  Dremel spins, this needs something that percusses.  I think that to make these look any better than they are, it needs to be done professionally.  (Biased opinion as I do freelance professional level prep work).  Without seeing the specimen in hand, if I were to do this one it would be done with air abrasion under a microscope.  Your 1000 bucks just became 2000  : )

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Troodon

Are you sure eggshell is present under all that red matrix?

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When I prepped mine I used to baking soda and it worked great just get a cheap blaster and wear a mask. Start with a low psi and bump it up as you you get more comfortable. 

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Ptychodus04

I’m with @jpc but I’m also a bit biased as I do professional prep work myself.

 

Personal opinion to follow. Granted, it’s after 25 years of prepping…

 

Never abrade without a microscope. The point of abrasives is to remove the matrix without damaging the specimen. That’s next to impossible with the naked eye. It’s hard enough to accomplish this even with a microscope. The damage may not be evident to the naked eye but the moment you put a naked eye abrasive treated specimen under a microscope, it’s pretty easily seen.

 

There’s a lot that goes into properly using abrasive media to prep well and safely. First, you need a decent blaster, then a containment box with appropriate dust collection, add a good scope into the mix and you’re well over $2k, even with modest equipment. Unless you plan to prep a lot, it’s cheaper to pay someone who knows what they are doing and has already made the investment in the equipment.

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Ludwigia
9 hours ago, Troodon said:

Are you sure eggshell is present under all that red matrix?

 

I don't believe so. I think there's a lot of shell missing.

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I too, from the picture, looks to be lots of shell missing?

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17 hours ago, Troodon said:

Are you sure eggshell is present under all that red matrix?

Personally, I don't think so.

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Ptychodus04

I agree. It's hard to say from a photo, but it is unlikely that the person who did the original prep (poor as it is) would have been unlikely to stop if there was obvious shell under the heavily tooled matrix. This specimen might simply be better off removing the unsightly tool marks and leaving as is.

 

There does appear to be a partial egg hiding under the matrix at the top of the photo.

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ecclector
Posted (edited)

Thank you everyone for your comments. Like those in this thread have said most of the eggs appear to be partial shells, though one at the top (or in pick below the most exposed egg on the right) looks pretty intact. There is also at least another partial shell as @Ptychodus04 noted at the top that is hidden by the overlying matrix. I'll attach another pic here, you can see it on the right side. I'm less interested in removing more of the red matrix and more of exposing the darker color of the already exposed eggshells.

 

s-l1600-1.thumb.jpg.3c1d26be3073cb913a86f3a2b72902d5.jpg

Edited by ecclector
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Troodon
10 minutes ago, ecclector said:

the darker color of the already exposed eggshells

Not sure I fully understand.  I would just remove all the tool marks

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ecclector
Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Troodon said:

Not sure I fully understand.  I would just remove all the tool marks

Apologies for not being clear. I wish to remove the white layer on the outside of the remaining exposed eggshell, á la @DLB's egg prep seen in this thread. I do also intend to remove the tool marks

 

Edited by ecclector
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Abrasive is the way to do it but unless you intend to prep a lot, or for a very long time, I’ll stick to my previous opinion. The cost to do it well and safely is high. I’m happy to provide a suggested equipment list if you want to start down the slippery slope of fossil prep. :P

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thank you again @Ptychodus04, the recommendation has been noted. I'm certainly entertaining the idea of a cheap-o setup, and I do have access to some pretty decent microscopes I have access to from some job connections. Perhaps I can reach out via PM and get some ideas

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On 5/13/2022 at 9:40 AM, ecclector said:

Apologies for not being clear. I wish to remove the white layer on the outside of the remaining exposed eggshell, á la @DLB's egg prep seen in this thread. I do also intend to remove the tool marks

 

When I did mine I found baking soda to work very well and if you want to remove the tool marks just soak it or get it wet  in a little bit of water and it should soften the orang rock and you can rub it with a toothbrush and smooth it out.

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Soda blast first as you will want to wash of the residual after and from what I remember the rock gets soft quickly. If it is getting to bad let it dry and repeat. 

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